Seth Rogen has a gas as a playboy crime-fighter with a cool car, a macaw goes nutty in Brazil, and Will Smith plays against type as a decidedly unheroic superhero: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today
In order to form an opinion, you may wish to catch the Freeview premiere of this self-consciously iconoclastic take on the superhero genre. The Green Hornet, a masked playboy who fights crime by posing as a criminal, was created for US radio in the 1930s, then adapted for film serials in the 40s and TV in the 60s. You can see the on-paper appeal of esoteric French director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and slacker king Seth Rogen — who co-wrote — dragging it into the 21st century. Rogen famously shed 30 pounds to play the title role, but didn’t think to change his familiar persona; the result, though sniggering and noisily destructive, will miss the spot if you’re expecting the sincerity or angst of Spider-Man or Batman. Debuting Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou brings deadpan cool to martial arts sidekick Kato, but Christoph Waltz phones in his villain and you may tire of Rogen’s childlike reaction to “cool things”.